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Today's Stichomancy for Jon Stewart

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Firm of Nucingen by Honore de Balzac:

and give yourself out, you fling yourself heart and soul into the conversation, you give expression to your real feelings, you play when you are at the card-table, chat while you chat, eat while you eat-- 'improper! improper! improper!' Stendhal, one of the cleverest and profoundest minds of the age, hit off the 'improper' excellently well when he said that such-and-such a British peer did not dare to cross his legs when he sat alone before his own hearth for fear of being improper. An English gentlewoman, were she one of the rabid 'Saints'-- that most straitest sect of Protestants that would leave their whole family to starve if the said family did anything 'improper'--may play the deuce's own delight in her own bedroom, and need not be

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Desert Gold by Zane Grey:

along fall in love with Nell? Hasn't it always happened? When she was a schoolgirl in Kansas didn't it happen? Didn't she have a hundred moon-eyed ninnies after her in Texas? I've had some peace out here in the desert, except when a Greaser or a prospector or a Yaqui would come along. Then same old story-- in love with Nell!"

"But, Tom, Nell might fall in love with this young man!" exclaimed the wife, in distress.

"Laddy, Jim, didn't I tell you?" cried Belding. "I knew she'd say that....My dear wife, I would be simply overcome with joy if Nell did fall in love once. Real good and hard! She's wilder than any antelope out there on the desert. Nell's nearly twenty now, and

Desert Gold
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Koran:

trial, he turns round again, and loses this world and the next-that is an obvious loss. He calls, besides God, on what can neither harm him nor profit him;-that is a wide error.

He calls on him whose harm is nigher than his profit,-a bad lord and a bad comrade.

Verily, God makes those who believe and do aright enter into gardens beneath which rivers flow; verily, God does what He will.

He who thinks that God will never help him in this world or the next-let him stretch a cord to the roof and put an end to himself; and let him cut it and see if his stratagem will remove what he is enraged at.

The Koran
The fourth excerpt represents the element of Earth. It speaks of physical influences and the impact of the unseen on the visible world, and is drawn from Crito by Plato:

anticipated at the beginning by the dream of Socrates and the parody of Homer. The personification of the Laws, and of their brethren the Laws in the world below, is one of the noblest and boldest figures of speech which occur in Plato.




Translated by Benjamin Jowett


SCENE: The Prison of Socrates.

SOCRATES: Why have you come at this hour, Crito? it must be quite early.